• Short Summary

    A macabre year long siege at a rural French chateau may be ended by a 15,000 US dollar (6,400 sterling) gift from a Los Angeles doctor.

  • Description

    A macabre year long siege at a rural French chateau may be ended by a 15,000 US dollar (6,400 sterling) gift from a Los Angeles doctor.
    In the crumbling chateau in South West France, which has been in the de Portal family since the Middle Ages, the widow, son and daughter of the Baron Leonce Portal have been defying eviction with hunting rifles since February last year. They have also been defying the authorities by refusing to bury the body of the 89-year-old Baron who died in March 1973 when the siege was just beginning.
    The 30 room de Portal family home - the Chateua Fumade - was sold by court - ordered auction to a local farmer in July 1972 after the family failed to meet debts believed to total about 140,000 france (13,000 sterling).
    The gift from the French born Dr. Robert Fouseaud, who came originally from a village near the de Portal family home, will be used to pay off some of the debts and the family hope to persuade the local authorities to rescind the order which led to the sale of their home.
    The family fortunes took a turn for the worse after the Second World War. Relatives of the Baron's first wife laid claim to the Chateau Fumade and heavy legal costs forced the old baron to sell off livestock. Debts piled up and a Toulouse businessman M. Louis Riviere claimed the de portals owed him 70,000 francs (7,000 sterling). It was M. Riviere who bought the 40 acre (162 hectares) property at the compulsory auction for 250,00 francs (25,000 sterling) a quarter of what the de Portals expected to get.
    For the time being the de Portal family say they will not move and the Baron's body still rests in an upstairs room in the chateau.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVADK7WBYQ9HX13BF6VW5UA3TSET
    Media URN:
    VLVADK7WBYQ9HX13BF6VW5UA3TSET
    Group:
    Reuters - Incuding Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    17/04/1974
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:01:31:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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